Steven A. Bush - September 3, 2023

The Seduction of God's People

The Seduction of God\'s People

Israel's first Promised Land target, Jericho, is only 10 miles away. They've already crushed Sihon & Og of the Amorites. Balaam's attempt to curse God's people has failed. The sinister shaman seems out of the picture. Except he's not. Behind the scenes he's been at work. Knowing Israel won't fall from without, he's connived a scheme to seduce them from within. Numbers 25:1-3 says: "While Israel was staying in Shittim, the men began to indulge in sexual immorality with Moabite women, who invited them to the sacrifices to their gods. The people ate the sacrificial meal and bowed down before these gods. So Israel yoked themselves to the Baal of Peor. And the LORD’s anger burned against them." (NIV) As we read on, God orders gruesome consequences to atone for His people's sin. The idolaters are executed and hung in broad daylight! Awful! It would be foolish to believe we're immune to being ensnared like our ancestors were. Fortunately, God has since brought forth His redemptive plan, orchestrated from before all time. Instead of hanging we sinners in broad daylight, He'll hang His Son in broad daylight to bear our sin! Galatians 3:13 declares it: "But Christ has bought us out from under the doom of that impossible system by taking the curse for our wrongdoing upon Himself. For it is written in the Scripture, 'Anyone who is hanged on a tree is cursed' (as Jesus was hung upon a wooden cross)." (TLB) What would compel God to do this? LOVE! Love beyond all measure!

Scripture References: Numbers 25:1-18, Deuteronomy 32:15-18, 1 Corinthians 10:19-21, Numbers 31:13-16, Ephesians 5:3, Galatians 3:13, 1 Peter 2:23-24

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